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Setting up a new computer - Security and stuff?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Lishy

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:38 AM

Hey guys. I hope I've posted this topic into the right forum.

I've ordered a new computer, and I'm looking for tips in terms of improving security. I use Avast Internet Security, Malware Bytes, Spybot S&D (Immunizations which come with it as well), Firefox 10 with Adblock+, Noscript, Web of Trust, and "warn me when pages try to redirect" checked in FF's configuration. I hear peerblock is good? Should I use that too?

Besides just not going on stupid sites which are rated red on WoT, do you have any other tips I can use to improving my new computer's security?

Also, I'm going to be creating a dual boot between W7 and Linux MINT. Should I need to use an anti-virus of any sort on MINT? And can I scan for Windows viruses while in MINT mode? Like say my external HDD gets infected with Windows malware. Can I remove it safely while in Linux MINT? (And thus, preventing infection because the chances of Linux being infected is minimal?)

Also, the ABSOLUTE first thing I'll be doing is creating a recovery CD. I've created a recovery CD before using bigger DVDs, but now I only have DVDs which are about 500mb each. Does creating a recovery CD typically require them to be larger? I have MANY 500mb cds, compared to the 4 already used 2gb DVDs.

Speaking of which, can I install Linux MINT through those smaller CDs as well?

And, if under the worst case scenario I must use the Recovery CD to restore factory settings, will it also affect my data on Linux?

Lastly, a question about my friend. My friend has two cracks he uses for photoshop and fl studio. He uses them after completely formatting a computer (and thus no personal information stored) but after installing security software. They contain malware when launched however. Despite that, between Avast and Malware Bytes, he is able to clean up the Malware with ease using those two scanners. He hasn't told me which particular malware it was, but he has said that after getting rid of them (and deleting the cracks), he has gone on for months without receiving any malware (let alone anything related to the ones he cleaned up.), and everything works perfectly. No accounts of his has ever been hacked either. He has been doing this for years, I think.

Is what my friend is doing considered stupid in despite that? I'm not asking a question related to cracks, but rather if it's stupid to purposely use a program which gives you what seems "small-fry" malware, and removing it before any personal info is placed on the computer? Is any harm actually done if there are no noticeable effects of traces left of the malware according to MBAM, Spybot S&D, and Avast?

Edited by hamluis, 15 February 2012 - 11:47 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to AV, Firewall, etc.


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#2 LucheLibre

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:47 AM

I use Avast Internet Security, Malware Bytes, Spybot S&D...


I suggest you use Spybot just as a manual scanner and not use its TeaTimer since you're running Avast. It's best not to run two different real-time malware programs at the same time as they might interfere with one another.

I hear peerblock is good? Should I use that too?


Use the MVPS hosts file instead.

Should I need to use an anti-virus of any sort on MINT? And can I scan for Windows viruses while in MINT mode?


No and yes.

http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_run_an_antivirus_scan_if_i_cant_boot.html

Does creating a recovery CD typically require them to be larger?


If you talking about an OEM recovery disc, we need to know the manufacturer. If you're talking about a W7 repair disc, its only 142MB, so you can use the smaller discs.

Speaking of which, can I install Linux MINT through those smaller CDs as well?


The full-featured Mint is 1GB. So a standard DVD is needed. They do have a smaller version without the extras that will fit on a normal CD.

And, if under the worst case scenario I must use the Recovery CD to restore factory settings, will it also affect my data on Linux?


We will need the manufacturer name to confirm it, but likely no. The recovery CD should simply allow you to access the hidden recovery partition and restore the main Windows partition.

Is what my friend is doing considered stupid in despite that? I'm not asking a question related to cracks, but rather if it's stupid to purposely use a program which gives you what seems "small-fry" malware, and removing it before any personal info is placed on the computer? Is any harm actually done if there are no noticeable effects of traces left of the malware according to MBAM, Spybot S&D, and Avast?


I'm pretty sure you already know the answer to this one. <_<

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

~ LL ~


#3 hamluis

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:42 AM

Just confirming the obvious, IMO: Cracked Software and Malware - http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Reveals-the-Risks-of-Using-Pirated-XP-and-Office-39285.shtml .

Nice friend you have :).

Louis

#4 Allan

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:45 AM

Let me add that I'd lose Spybot all together. Aside from being "old school" (MalwareBytes & Super AntiSpyware are the current best of breed anti-malware apps), it can cause problems with some systems (both with and without tea timer enabled). And I'd add Spyware Blaster as a passive addition - be sure to update weekly.

#5 Lishy

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:15 PM

Nice friend you have :).

Meaning? Think he's doing longterm damage or something?

Edited by Lishy, 15 February 2012 - 12:19 PM.


#6 Allan

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:48 PM

Your -ahem- "friend" (yeah, okay :) ) is not only breaking the law by using cracks, but insuring the introduction of malware to the system - as you already know.

#7 Lishy

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:04 PM

Your -ahem- "friend" (yeah, okay :)

If it was me, I'd have the malware names and hijackthis logs in notime ;o

#8 quietman7

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:44 PM

Is what my friend is doing considered stupid in despite that?


The practice of using cracking tools, keygens, warez or any pirated software is not only considered illegal activity as Allan noted but it is a serious security risk.

Cracking applications are used for illegally breaking (cracking) various copy-protection and registration techniques used in commercial software. These programs may be distributed via Web sites, Usenet, and P2P networks.

trendmicro.com/vinfo

...warez and crack web pages are being used by cybercriminals as download sites for malware related to VIRUT and VIRUX. Searches for serial numbers, cracks, and even antivirus products like Trend Micro yield malcodes that come in the form of executables or self-extracting files...quick links in these sites also lead to malicious files. Ads and banners are also infection vectors...

Keygen and Crack Sites Distribute VIRUX and FakeAV

...warez/piracy sites ranked the highest in downloading spyware...just opening the web page usually sets off an exploit, never mind actually downloading anything. And by the time the malware is finished downloading, often the machine is trashed and rendered useless.

University of Washington spyware study

...One of the most aggressive and intrusive of all bad websites on the Internet are serial, warez, software cracking type sites...they sneak malware onto your system...Where do trojan viruses originate? One of the biggest malware distributors on the Internet are serial/warez/code cracking sites.

Bad Web Sites: Malware

For those using these kind of programs, be forewarned that some of the worst types of malware infections can be contracted and spread by visiting crack, keygen, warez and other pirated software sites. In many cases, those sites are infested with a smörgåsbord of malware and an increasing source of system infection. Those who attempt to get software for free can end up with a computer system so badly damaged that recovery is not possible and it cannot be repaired. When that happens there is nothing you can do besides reformatting and reinstalling the OS.

Using these types of programs or the websites visited to get them is almost a guaranteed way to get yourself infected!!
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#9 the dummy

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:23 PM

I would suggest keeping whatever A/V you like, and then add Sandboxie free, a LUA, Malwarebytes free, Hit-man pro free, ccleaner, TDSS killer, and that should do it. Most of your systems security will come from Sandboxie to the point of everything else combined will be a distant 2nd.

#10 LucheLibre

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:25 PM

I would suggest keeping whatever A/V you like, and then add Sandboxie free, a LUA, Malwarebytes free, Hit-man pro free, ccleaner, TDSS killer....


That's a rather....eclectic collection. A LUA and TDSS killer? and CCleaner offers nothing in the security context.

I suggest a simple, lightweight realtime scanner (MSE), a powerful on-demand scanner (MBAM once every week or two), the MVPS hosts file, a strong desire to update, and education on how to avoid doing things that get you infected.

Edited by LucheLibre, 15 February 2012 - 05:28 PM.

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

~ LL ~


#11 the dummy

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:02 PM

I would suggest keeping whatever A/V you like, and then add Sandboxie free, a LUA, Malwarebytes free, Hit-man pro free, ccleaner, TDSS killer....


That's a rather....eclectic collection. A LUA and TDSS killer? and CCleaner offers nothing in the security context.

I suggest a simple, lightweight realtime scanner (MSE), a powerful on-demand scanner (MBAM once every week or two), the MVPS hosts file, a strong desire to update, and education on how to avoid doing things that get you infected.

Yes, ccleaner wont help protect you, but i wouldnt recommend MSE unless combined with Sandboxie, Returnil, or Comodo D+.




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